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Umsebenzi Online

Volume 16, No. 16, 13 October 2017

In this Issue:


Red Alert

Timol did not commit suicide - He was murdered!

Umsebenzi Online

Ahmed Timol did not commit suicide - He was murdered! This is the conclusion delivered in a judgment by the North Gauteng High Court on Thursday, 12 October 2017 in the City of Tshwane. The South African Communist Party (SACP) members waved placards reading: `Tell nothing but the whole truth: Ahmed Timol was murdered by apartheid`. This message of support for justice running its full course summarises the judgment.

Ahmed Timol`s brother, Mohammed Timol addresses SACP activists outside the North Gauteng High Court in Tshwane. He thanked the Party for its support throughout. Alongside him is SACP First Deputy General Secretary Solly Mapaila. | Picture by the SACP

The SACP released a statement welcoming the judgment:

`The South African Communist Party welcomes the North Gauteng High Court judgment concluding that Ahmed Timol did not commit suicide but was murdered. This is an affirmation of the truth that the SACP has always believed. The judgment paves the way for justice to run its full course. Those who committed the murder must now face the music and be held accountable in accordance with the rule of law.

`The SACP unwaveringly supports the Timol family and will deepen its campaign towards a wider programme to seek justice for all. Everyone who was killed by or disappeared at the behest of the apartheid regime must be accounted for. The forces behind the crime against humanity, apartheid, must be held accountable!`


Stop gender based violence - Red card against women abuse!

Umsebenzi Online

On Sunday, 8 October 2017 the SACP launched its annual Red October Campaign. The theme of the campaign for 2017-2018 is `Stop gender based violence - Red card against women abuse`. The Johannesburg City Hall, where the campaign was launched, was full to capacity. The official seating capacity of the Hall is 1 400. Other participants occupied the gallery, while others remained outside.

Comrades plus brothers and sisters united against gender based violence and women abuse at the launch of the SACP Red October Campaign 2017, Johannesburg City Hall, 8 October | Picture by the SACP

The campaign launch started at the Constitutional Hill with a Walk of Remembrance to the Johannesburg City Hall. The event was also used to mark the launch of the Great October Socialist Revolution centenary celebrations. The Revolution, after which the SACP Red October Campaign derives its name, occurred in Russia in 1917.

The Great October Socialist Revolution is a source of inspiration to the SACP, and has made an immense contribution to the South African struggle for liberation and social emancipation. Following its success in 1917, in 1919 Vladimir Lenin, the leader of the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics from 1917 to 1923, led a process to establish the Communist International, to which all Communist Parties, including the SACP, then the Communist Party of South Africa, were affiliated.

In 1927, a member of the Communist Party from Cape Town, James La Guma proposed that South Africa should become a native republic with equal rights for all races. La Guma took the idea to the Communist International, which adopted it in 1928. From 1929 the proposal became Party policy in South Africa. The thesis went through various phases of development, and in 1962 it culminated in the articulation of the theory of the National Democratic Revolution. The key tenets of the National Democratic Revolution included the national democratic state based on the principle non-racialism.

The SACP was the first political organisation in South Africa to develop the three principles and theories of the National Democratic Revolution, national democratic state based on the objective of transforming South Africa to become a republic with equal rights for all, and non-racialism. The Communist International, a direct offspring of the Great October Socialist Revolution, contributed immensely in shaping the outlook.

The leading role played by the SACP in developing the non-racial history of South Africa based on class analysis led to the Party becoming the first political organisation to be banned, in 1950, by the apartheid regime. The SACP was the first political organisation in South Africa to organise on the basis of non-racialism and to embrace everyone regardless of their race and place origin whether inside or outside of the land of South Africa.

The SACP Red October Campaign 2017 deepens the work through a dedicated focus on the transformation of gender relations.

Walk of remembrance from the Constitution Hill to the Johannesburg City Hall, SACP Red October Campaign 2017 launch, 8 October. | Picture by the SACP

At the heart of the SACP Red October Campaign 2017 is the goal of ending crime and violence in general and violence against women in particular in all its forms, physical and emotional.

The campaign seeks to bring an end to sexual violations affecting people of all ages and sexes, with due regard paid to the fact that women are the majority of the victims of the scourge.

Another important objective of the campaign is to bring an end to all forms of discrimination, violent or emotional, facing lesbian, gay, bisexual, trans, and/or intersex (LGBTI) community, as well as people with albinism.

The goal of the campaign is to build a South Africa in which everyone is safe at all times and in all places.

The frontline: Comrades in charge of the official banner of the Red October Campaign 2017 | Picture by the SACP.


Stop corruption and state capture!

Umsebenzi Online

The Congress of South African Trade Unions (Cosatu) has proven once again what it means to be South Africa`s largest trade union federation through its nationwide strike and marches against corruption and state capture on 27 September 2017. Johannesburg was a sea of red Cosatu and SACP colours and flags in a Cosatu-led march. An unmatched record of 13 marches, led by Cosatu, was set on the same day throughout the country.

Addressing the SACP Red October Campaign 2017 launch at the City Hall in Johannesburg on Sunday, 8 October 2017, Cosatu President Sidumo Dlamini announced that the trade union federation will soon be back on the streets leading more marches against corruption and corporate state capture, and for the banning of the `parasites` called labour brokers, for jobs and decent work.

Workers at the Johannesburg Cosatu-led 2017 September 27th march against corruption and state capture wave the South African flag and placards: "Away with the Guptas and associates", "Zuma must go", etc. Picture by the SACP | Picture by the SACP

Workers at the Johannesburg Cosatu-led 2017 September 27th march against corruption and state capture wave placards: "State capture is a criminal offence", "State capture leads to job losses", "Labour brokers = Slavery", etc. | Picture by the SACP

Workers at the Johannesburg Cosatu-led 2017 September 27th march against corruption and state capture wave placards: "Corruption is crime against humanity", "Away with e-tolls", etc. | Picture by the SACP

Workers arrive at the Office of the Premier of Gauteng Province in Johannesburg during the Cosatu-led 2017 September 27th march against corruption and state capture | Picture by the SACP

Memoranda were also delivered to the Chamber of Mines and private finance monopoly capital represented by commercial banks. The memorandum to the banks contained the following demands:

  1. An affordable, developmental home financing model that caters for the housing needs of workers who do not qualify for state subsidised, RDP, housing, while at the same time they do not earn sufficient income to qualify for the mortgage-base housing loan in its current prohibitive form.
  2. Review, or immediately abolish the model of compound interest on housing and, associated with it the 20-year, imprisonment-like, life repayment sentence.
  3. Stop your greedy housing repossessions, evictions and all other associated corrupt and fraudulent activities.
  4. Radically reduce banking charges and all other financial services fees, offer reasonable and particularly lower costs for all workers, employed and unemployed, serve the needs of the people and end profit-, rent-, interest-, insurance-based and other forms of financial exploitation of the people.
  5. End the investment strike and invest in the productive sector of the economy to create jobs based on the decent work agenda and in rural areas to end uneven development between rural and urban: A conservative estimate suggests that by 2016 an amount of 1.4-trillion rand was lying idle in hoarding as cash reserved without investment in the productive sector by 50 JSE listed largest companies - we believe that the banking and the financial sector as a whole is part of the problem.
  6. Abolish reckless lending practices.
  7. Finance worker-initiated and worker-led financial education programmes rather than your ambush marketing ventures masqueraded as the so-called financial consumer education.
  8. Stop collusion, active and tacit and all manner of manipulation of our economy, including but not limited to speculative activities.
  9. Transform ownership, with number one priority given to common worker ownership rather than the elite of a few individuals so-called empowered in the name of Black people who remain impoverished.
  10. Finance the development of co-operative banks at cost or at cost plus a reasonable, negotiated margin.
  11. Co-operate with the process to convene the second financial sector summit towards a new financial architecture designed to serve the people!

Umsebenzi Online is an online voice of the South African working class